Monday, August 29, 2005

Pittsburgh: A Travel Guide

So, you've decided to go to Pittsburgh for the weekend to visit your friends Emily and Chris. Good choice! They're nice people and they have a spare room.

First and foremost, wake up ridiculously early and find out that, yes, the rumors are true -- there really is a 4 a.m. Arrive at the airport with ample time to spare. Be cheap. Decide that, even though you're only going to be gone for 2 1/2 days, you need to save 8 dollars by using "economy parking" at the airport. Fail to realize that "economy parking" = middle of fucking nowhere with no available spaces. Spend 45 minutes driving around looking for a space. Find a space in New Jersey. Take nasty, germy, crowded shuttle bus to wrong terminal. Run outside in 94% humidity two terminals down to correct terminal. Upon entering terminal, hear loudspeaker announce the final boarding call for your flight.


Catch next flight to The Burgh. Have a small and completely expected panic attack on the plane. Arrive in Pittsburgh. Find and hug Emily. Get in Emily's car and regale each other with stories about your respective lives en route to her house. Arrive at the house and become overjoyed upon finding a toilet in the basement. Not a bathroom in the basement; a toilet. In a stall. Pretend you are camping and use the toilet. Feel earthy.

Meet up with Chris for lunch. Regale Chris with several of the same stories already told to Emily. Watch Emily do an excellent job of feigning continued fascination with your life.

Over the next few days, do the following things with your friends:

-- Watch copious amounts of television and trash celebrities.

-- Watch a TV movie about Mary Kay LeTourneau. Have a lengthy discussion about the psychological and societal issues raised by the entity of Mary Kay LeTourneau. Thank God profusely that you have friends who will seriously talk about this shit with you for hours.

-- Go see "The Aristrocrats." Thank God that you have friends who like dirty jokes as much as you do, and who also recognize anyone who's ever been on Comedy Central for even a second.

-- Drink margaritas and play board games. Laugh heartily.

Now, sadly, it's time to go home. Leave for the airport two hours before your flight. Run into quite possibly the worst traffic jam in the history of time. Rely on the combination of Emily's unmatched map-reading skills and Chris' love of back roads to get you to the airport via the scenic route. See a side of Pittsburgh you will never forget, not even with therapy. Arrive at the airport ten minutes before your flight leaves. Miss your flight. Get a new flight, and proceed through security. Get stopped and searched at security for having scissors in your bag. Explain to the security guard that they didn't even notice them at the Philly airport. Realize with a shudder that the Philly airport is shit both in terms of security and economy parking. Arrive home. Watch the MTV Video Music Awards and make the following observations:

  1. Apparently there was a law passed that says rappers must wear white.
  2. "Pimpin' all over the world" is perhaps not the call to multiculturalism we really need.
  3. Diddy continues to outdo himself in asshole-itude.
  4. Awards shows really shouldn't be about the audience, they should be about the celebrities. I don't want to make fun of regular people, I want to make fun of Jessica Simpson and her "shirt."
  5. Shaquille O'Neal scares the living shit out of me.
  6. Eric Roberts?
  7. R. Kelly is the most entertaining sex-offender ever.
  8. Rock is officially dead.


As requested, E and C at the movies, taken with my phone camera, the Ultra Crappy 3000:

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

things I am happy about today (yes, it's really me)

  1. In 38 hours I will be en route to The 'Burgh to visit the fabulous Mullacostas, where much revelry will be had by all
  2. This morning, while reporting on high prices at the pump, CNN saw fit to underscore the report with the headline "Got Gas?"
  3. My dishwasher is fixed
  4. Pat Robertson is doing a perfectly good job of digging his own grave, so I can take a break from that for a while

And now, just for the hell of it, a kitten :

Monday, August 22, 2005

Dads and apple bongs don't mix (at least not in my family)

I am on a whirlwhind moviegoing streak. Inspired by my deep and abiding love for Steve Carell, I braved the sticky floors and stupid people of a movie theater for the second time in a month and went to see The 40 Year Old Virgin. It was HI-larious, if a bit slow at times, (but, then again, I have the attention span of Paris Hilton faced with reading material). The MPAA rating for this movie is R because of "pervasive sexual content, language and some drug use," which are usually three of the main reasons I'd go to see a movie in the first place, except that I saw this movie with my dad.

Now, my dad is neither an old fart or a prude. He is, of course, MY DAD, and no one with any kind of normal, healthy parental relationship wants to see a movie with her father in which (spoiler alert!) a woman masturbates with a shower head. And given that my dad refers to joints as "marijuana cigarettes," the (ample) drug references were largely lost on him, and my hearty laughter during the aforementioned apple bong scene was met with a "and just how do you know what that thing is, young lady?" stare.

As a kid, my parents never shied away from letting my brother and I watch R-rated movies, which some may see as awesome, progressive parenting, but in actuality may not have been the best idea. In fact, I can recall my traumatized 8-year-old self screaming and bawling my way through Project X, a film in which cute little monkeys are nuked to death. I'm sure it was super fun for the other people in the theater, too. To my parents' credit, I must say that as a kid, if you encounter something sexual or scary in a movie that you don't understand, it's nice to have parents who are open to you asking questions about it.

When you're older, though, and the tables are turned and you know more about the illicit subject matter than your parent does, it's not so great. Not that my dad would turn to me and inquire just what, exactly, "back door action" was supposed to mean, but you know, it made for a somewhat creepy moviegoing experience. Still, Steve Carell rocks, and I can't wait for the new season of The Office.

Friday, August 19, 2005

But Nina, I fear change!

Yes, I have changed the appearance of the blog. Why? Because it was kind of hard to read, and I am still operating under the illusion that It's All About Me, Anyway will be widely-read any day now, and the more accessible to the soon-to-adore-me masses, the better. That's why. Also, the dark background distorted some of the fantastic, whizz-bang special effects (read: font colors) I had dreamed up, and that just wouldn't do.

So, I am fantastically bored today. Fantastically! I am trying to will myself into sickness so I can have a decent reason to go home early, but I think that's kind of wrong, so I'll see if I can stick it out until 5.

In scouring the news, here is what I have an opinion on today:

HEADLINE: Kanye West Says Rap is Too Homophobic
OPINION: First thought = Duh. Second thought = I have to go buy a Kanye West CD. Good for him, though, really. Of course, it just means everyone's now going to say that he's gay, but that's because everyone is an idiot. But I'm sure he realizes that, so it is a bit brave of him. It's sad that simply saying that rap is homophobic should be brave, but it is.

HEADLINE: British TV Movie Features the Queen's Sister Doing Drugs and Having Sex
OPINION: British TV really is better.

HEADLINE: American Idol Dropout Signs Record Deal
OPINION: Does anyone else think Mario Vasquez looks like Justin Timberlake dipped in a bucket of Hispanic? I'm not saying that's a good thing.

HEADLINE: Kansas Girl Killed While Taking Photo With Tiger
OPINION: I hate to be Captain Obvious, but, um, it's a damn tiger. It kills stuff and eats it. That's what thousands of years of evolution have led it to do, not pose for photos. Have we learned nothing from Roy, people?

Okay, an hour and fifteen left...

Can I call 'em or what?

In a completely unsurprising development, Eminem's reason for canceling his You're-a-peein tour has been revised from "exhaustion" to "dependency on sleep-medication."

Three guesses on what "sleep-medication" actually is:
1. Heroin
2. Tylenol PM
3. Heroin and Tylenol PM (known on the street as a "slowball")

In related news, people are shocked, SHOCKED, that a "bad batch of heroin" is responsible for several deaths in NYC lately. Hellooo? It's HEROIN, for the Love of Courtney, what did you think it was going to do, make your hair shiny? The term "bad heroin" is not only redundant, it's dangerous. Like, if you get your hands on the good heroin, you'll be just fine. Between Eminem and the news media, our children are doomed. Not that I have any personally, but, you know, our collective children; the future. It's a metaphor, people. Go with it.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Dictionary a la Nina

1. Pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.
2. This.

1. Not necessary; needless.
2. The fact that, as reported by The Superficial , Jessica Simpson is both endorsing a line of treadmills and manufacturing plus-size jeans. Leave my fat ass alone, Jess, it never did anything to you. Whereas you have annoyed me to no end. Trollop.

1. The act or an instance of exhausting. The state of being exhausted; extreme fatigue.
2. What celebrities say they are suffering from when, in fact, they are entering detox. It's actually one of those things that I love about Hollywood. It's so cryptic and obvious at the same time. What a beautiful euphemism! So much better than saying "Mr. Inem has been up for 3 weeks straight on a meth-and-hooker binge and desperately needs some sleep and IV fluids."

1. The point at which physical, mental, or emotional strength gives way under stress.
2. Where I find myself after learning that Sean Combs is now referring to himself as simply "Diddy," rather than "P. Diddy," because, and I quote, "I felt like the 'P' was getting between me and my fans and now we're closer." Well, I certainly feel closer to him now, don't you? Could someone please explain the appeal of this man to me? If you have definitive proof that he isn't just some overrated, self-aggrandizing moron, I'd be interested in it. I get that he's a savvy businessman and throws kick-ass parties in the Hamptons where you can only wear white, (because the rich need boundaries when they go out), but honestly, has he ever created anything that wasn't blatantly derivative? No? I didn't think so.

Some things you didn't know about me

I know I haven't posted in a while, but I've been thinking over some things. And now, you may enter the tiny door to my head...

First, and I am ashamed to admit the following fact, but I feel the need to unburden myself: I am fascinated by dramatic portrayals of the mentally challenged. Completely and utterly fascinated. I'm always interested in seeing if the actor can pull off a nuanced portrayal of an adult with a diminished mental capacity, rather than just a lazy interpretation of a carefree child in a big person's body. Therefore, these roles must be played by (arguably) non-retarded actors. (And before the PC Police come breaking down my door, I was once told by a grad student studying the mentally challenged that "retarded" is a perfectly acceptable term, so go to hell). So, in accordance with this requirement, Corky on Life Goes On doesn't count. Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, John Malkovich in Of Mice and Men, and my personal favorite, Leonardo DiCaprio in What's Eating Gilbert Grape are prime examples. The worst: Sean Penn in My Name is Sam, (ode to my friend Emily: anything starring that demon-child Dakota Fanning is just evil, pure, unadulterated eeeveeeel), the absolutely shameful The Other Sister, (sorry Juliette Lewis, but that role was hardly a stretch -- oh, and I just realized this, but Juliette Lewis was also in Gilbert Grape. I'm starting to see a pattern), Cuba Gooding, Jr. in Radio. I'm on the fence about Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump. While I think he did a good job, the whole thing is just a little too precious for my taste.

What I do not like about retarded-person-centered movies, though, is the reaction they inspire in the average movie-goer -- "Oh, those slow people, they have so much to teach us about life and love and what's really important, like butterflies." Shut up. Just because you need feelings distilled down to the lowest common denominator in order to understand them is no reason to celebrate. In fact, I think it's a pretty sad statement on the average level of emotional intelligence of the general public. Of course, Hollywood Movie People realize just how manipulative, and therefore lucrative, these movies are, so they make a lot of them. And I will watch every single one and formulate a strong, unsolicited opinion about it.

Second: I want to move. The backstory on why this statement is insane is that in the past 3 years, I have lived at 5 different addresses. Yes, five. There are many reasons for these moves, some of them even legitimate, (I was literally allergic to one apartment), but I mostly like to move because, when I am uneasy about anything in my life, I feel that I should change my environment. As if all the badness is contained in the carpet fibers. I know this is stupid and that I should get over it. And I do have a nice place now, but here's why I want to leave:
1. It's falling apart. (If you can count my dishwasher being broken and one of my cable boxes needing repair as "falling apart," and I can.)
2. It's kind of big for one person, especially one person who has to clean up all the cat hair by herself.
3. I have actually met some of my neighbors, and they insist on talking to me.

Why I shouldn't move:
1. I need to grow the fuck up one of these days.
2. That's pretty much it.

Third, I find this incredibly amusing, and possibly identifying of my new goal in life. It's a wedding announcement from the local paper:
Renee and Joseph were married June 15, 2005 by the New Castle County Clerk of the Peace in Wilmington, DE...Renee is employed as a makeup artist by M.A.C. Cosmetics. Joseph is a graduate of Berkley and is a rock star singer and songwriter. They live in Wilmington, DE.

So, if anyone knows how to go about becoming a rock star singer, (do you have to go to Berkley?), please let me know.

Okay, I guess that's it for now.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

an Ebay saga, in chapters

Here's the thing: While I may come across like a cynical, jaded mofo, in actuality I am a trusting sucker with an abiding belief in the goodness of humankind (read: Idiot). In case you doubt this claim, here is a story to illustrate.

So, a few weeks ago, I decided to buy a copy of the superlong, craptastic Alexander, (see Inexplicable Colin Farrell Obsession). I reasoned that I would make this purchase on Ebay, since, despite said obsession, I find actually purchasing Colin Farrell movies face-to-face degrading. I found a copy, promised to be in good condition, (albeit with optional Thai subtitles, but that's beside the point), at a good "Buy It Now" price from someone with a 100% positive feedback rating. His name is Woody and he's from Texas, and I didn't even make that up. I purchase the clandestine DVD and set up a lawn chair next to my mailbox to wait for its arrival.

Although Woody had listed "media mail" as the shipping option, Colin in a Toga arrives within two days of my purchase. I am elated. Jumping the Ebay gun, I leave Woody positive feedback. I pop the movie into the DVD player, and the first 90 minutes of the film go by swimmingly. Then: disaster. The movie freezes colder than Joan Rivers' face. I try fast-forwarding, even though I am terrified of missing even a moment of Jared Leto in eyeliner. But it doesn't work. I have on my hands a defective DVD, which terrifies me because I will now have to return it, putting another nail in the coffin of me pretending I didn't actually purchase this garbage.

I send a friendly yet firm email to Woody explaining the problem and asking for a refund or an exchange. Here is his response:

Hi Nina, There wasn't anything wrong with that disc! Did you try wiping the disc (from center to outside...not round and round) It was scratch free! It sounds like it might have gotten fingerprints on it. Let me know if that helps. My father is in the hospital for cancer, he has had part of his colon removed and still has more, which they are suggesting chemo. I live in a rural area and have been shuttling back and forth about 4 cities away, so I just can't deal with this right now! Don't worry . I'll try to help you when things are a little more settled. His name is Mark M------. Please remember him in your prayers! Thanks Woody

For a split second, I think I am being scammed. And yet, he wouldn't have included his father's name if it was bullshit, right? Right. And so I feel bad for the guy, really, legitimately bad. I do not, say, question why his relatively large-volume Ebay business is up and running if he has to be four towns away from his sick father and can't deal with problems. So I reply:

Hi Woody, I am very sorry to hear about your father. I certainly hope his treatment progresses well, and I understand the extraordinary stress you must be under. I will try wiping the disc as you suggest, and I will let you know the outcome. If there is still a problem, hopefully we can work it out. Thanks and take care, Nina

I am so nice and wholesome, sometimes I disgust myself. Woody's response:

Hi Nina , Checking my email before I take off (back to the hospital) I will be back this weekend and try to sort things out to your satisfaction. Thank you for being so understanding. Talk to you soon. Woody

Again, I question nothing. I decide Woody is a nice guy with a shitty family situation. I think, perhaps if he were not from Texas and did not end letters by invoking an amorphous higher power, and did not find it necessary to remind me that his dad's sick every time he writes to me, we might be friends. You never know.

I actually wipe the damn disc. Of course, this solves nothing. Fingerprint my ass. I write Woody:

Hi Woody,
I know you are with your father, but when you get this email, please let me know about a return for the Alexander DVD. I wiped it as you suggested, however, it's still freezing and skipping. It's definitely not my DVD player, either, since I'm able to view other discs just fine.
Take care,

Did you notice the "take care"? Did you notice how I am successfully restraining my urge to be a complete and total bitch? Did you notice how, despite the fact that he said he wouldn't be able to deal with it until days later, Woody writes back within hours:

Hi, Thanks for your concern. My father will be getting out tomorrow (he'll be on daily chemo treatments) small consequence considering what he has already been through. My mothers with him now which gave me a chance to come home. About "Alexander" I have another one I can send you, ran thru scene selections and everything is fine (I watched the one you have and didn't have any problems) however I can send you this other one or refund your money once I receive the one you have in the condition I sent it (minus shipping as is Ebay standard) Either way, you decide. I'll have to get that one back before we can do anything. Just let me know when you are shipping and I'll tell you as soon as it arrives. Thanks, Woody

Minus shipping? Woody, my maybe-friend, this means war.

I think I'll just return this one to you and ask for refund. I'm not too thrilled about having to pay for postage twice, though (once to ship, once to return), or actually even losing any money on this, since the item is defective. I cannot find it listed where this is EBay's standard, but I am willing to take your word for it. Woody -- I am really sorry about your situation with your father and I truly empathize. I also have no desire to start a dispute over a few dollars, so I'll just mail it back to you. Please at least consider refunding the full price I paid, though. I will try and put it in the mail tomorrow via standard first-class postage so that you'll get it soon. The address I have from the envelope is P.O. Box 666, Newton TX. Please let me know if this is not the best address to send it to.

I think I am being fair. I think I am being nice. I really think I hate humanity and need to start saving up for that hut on top of a mountain I've always talked about living in. Woody's speedy response (you know, because he really can't deal with this right now):

Hi Nina, I know how you must feel but you must see this from my point of view also! You seem like a real nice person but I have had people order from me, copy or burn the movie, than intentionally vandalize the item to get refunds ( which incidentally, is the reason I now hold feedback till transaction is over so I am not extorted or threatened with bad feedback) The DVD in question was new! It came in a plastic sleeve with artwork which I opened, watched, then put in a DVD case. I know we don't know each other but you know me better than I know you by my feedback. I have never had any trouble with ANY transactions. You say that you don't see the non-refundable shipping policy anywhere? Try looking at ANY listing on Ebay under their refund policy! It states always "shipping not refundable" see for yourself! I am a good guy and have always (within reason) tried to satisfy my customers. You keep dealing on Ebay and wait till you run into some real SOBs then you will realize what a Prince Of A Fellow I really was. My Best Regards! Woody

Well, my faithful reader(s), I was upset. I am a fragile little flower, emotionally-speaking, and despite my cantankerous spirit, my socially-phobic reality dictates that I do not like confrontation, electronic or otherwise. I wrote a response to Woody. It made use of the word "fuckwad." I reconsidered and sent the following:

You don't have to be so defensive. I am not accusing you of anything, although the reverse does not seem to be true. I am not pulling a scam -- I don't know why the movie didn't present problems when you watched it, but it has repeatedly done so for me. I have already left you positive feedback -- I have no ulterior motive here. You can see that my feedback, while not as extensive as yours since I only buy or sell the occasional item on Ebay or, reflects my honesty. I am truly sorry for your family health crisis, and I would hate to think I was being taken advantage of for my kindness. The movie will be returned to you quickly. Like I said, a few dollars is not worth a dispute. Please do not leave me negative feedback for standing up for myself. If I am ignorant of the return policy standard, I apologize, but I really could not find anything under your listing which stated that postage would not be returned. I have never had to return anything before on Ebay. I said I would take your word for it, and I am.

I sincerely hope your father regains his health soon. I know that he has a long road ahead of him, and I will keep him along with the rest of your family in my thoughts.


Yes, I know. It's lovely. It states the facts with strength and conviction, yet wraps up with a sincere-sounding nicety. This is all despite the fact that I no longer believe this man's father has cancer. In fact, I no longer believe he has a father. At least not a human one. The response:

Hi Nina, I have already given you positive feedback (days ago) Thank you for your kind words for my father. I didn't mean to sound defensive (maybe I did come across like that, didn't mean to) things haven't been great around here. If you will look at feedback I have left others you will see where, on the feedback I left, have followed up with confirmation # and a delivery date. These are people who have tried to extort money from me saying they haven't received their items when USPS says otherwise, so I probably do come off as defensive. When this DVD arrives I will refund your purchase price and hopefully should you buy something from me again I will only charge half shipping. I'm trying to meet you in the middle on this, I hope you can be happy with this. Bless You And Yours, Woody

So, the self-appointed Prince of a Fellow is going to offer me half-shipping on the next item I buy from him? Ha! Ha ha ha ha ha! I laugh at you, Prince Fuckwad! I do not even reply to this email. And then...


...lo and behold...

Hi Nina, As I had mentioned, my father made it home from the hospital and he had never seen "Alexander" so I brought it over (same status as the one I sold you...just opened, etc....) and much to my dismay it had a part where it froze for an instant, returned to menu, then continued to play. So I will reimburse your full amount ($17.48?) as soon as I have received it. My Apolo-JEEZ, I will now have to fight to get MY money back! I'm sorry I doubted you. Woody

Do you think the "JEEZ" was a reference to Jesus? Because I don't really trust anyone from Texas anymore.

It gets better. Next email:

Hi Nina, Haven't received "Alexander" yet but I have another New Release that I would like to interest you in exchange for the Alexander I sold you. It is called "After The Sunset" with Pierce Brosnon, Salma Hayek, and Woody Harrelson. It does not freeze, skip, stutter or stammer GUARANTEED!! Pierce and Salma are retired successful jewel thieves living the good life when Pierce gets interested in one more job! It is action, romance with Woody Harrelson offering comedy relief as the F.B.I agent doggedly on their trail. I really think you would love this movie! I am still willing to refund your money if that is your preference. Just let me know. Your Partner In Ebay. Woody

Woody clearly does not understand that people do not buy shitty movies because of their plot. They buy them because they are unnaturally obsessed with one of the actors/have a friend who was an extra in the movie/saw the movie once while high and consequently think it's a piece of cinematic gold. But it would be pointless to try and explain this to him, and thus, my final email to the Woodster:

Hi Woody,
I am glad to hear that your father has made it home. Hopefully, things will start to look up.
I sent the DVD to you on Thursday via first-class mail, so it should be there soon. I think I will still take the refund, but thanks for the other offer.
Take care,


I get a notice from PayPal explaining that my money has been refunded. However...I paid $17.48, and Woody refunds me an even $17. That dick. He includes the message: "OK Nina, we're through."

That's it?! After everything we've been through together?! After the ups and downs of our cyber relationship based on assumed mutual fraud! "We're through"?! And you bilk me out of 48 cents on top of it?! I shall never love again, Woody. You've ruined me.


I went to Borders and bought a brand new copy of Alexander for $15. Shut up.

Friday, August 05, 2005

even blonde

As part of my (currently thrilling) job, I have a sworn duty to peruse the local newspapers. When I say "local newspapers," I am not referring to the one with actual news, (although that distinction is debatable), television listings, movie times and enough other useful information to actually merit charging you to read it. No, I'm talking about the free local newspapers. The ones with front-page reports about minor road construction. The ones with reader-submitted photos of dogs wearing hats. The ones like The Middletown Transcript, (I would have provided a hyperlink here to the Transcript's website if, in fact, the Transcript had a website). So now, in the interest of spreading the misery around, I shall reproduce in full a letter to the editor from the most recent edition of the "paper." (Please note: this letter is verbatim, including questionable grammar and typos, which are par for the course):

America is looking older
To the editor:

Have you noticed the graying of America? Especially among the women; and men too? Even your mother and father.

But why is it? And can it be changed? I think it can.

Women primarily set the goals and standards. Because when enough females wear hats to church, others do and if they tell their husbands and daughters then their boyfriends will too. Let's change the graying of America.

They may even darken their hair. Loreal, Revlon and others.

Go to a nursing home and see for yourself. We have allowed ourselves to age overnight and before our time.

White hair! It wasn't here at 50 or 60 but it's here now. But it doesn't have to be. Let to women change it back where it belongs. Brown, black, even blonde. Why not?

Some Idiot

This little diatribe against nature is particularly interesting when you pause to consider the fact the writer is himself 82 years young, (and before you ask, if I told you how I knew that I'd have to kill you). So, given that this man couldn't possibly be a hypocrite on top of being useless and stupid, I am imagining he looks something like this (minus the multiple facelifts and fake bake, of course):

And don't even get me started on what letters the Middletown Transcript left out in order to leave room for this one. Probably something completely inane, like one about the Supreme Court or the war or something.

All I know is, those ladies at the nursing home better shape up.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I saw these two bumper stickers on a car this morning. Not that Sum 41 is necessarily incompatible with Catholicism or anything, (well, actually, I wouldn't really know), and it isn't as good a combo as a Marilyn Manson sticker next to a Jesus fish, but I still appreciated the incongruity of it.

Since people's bumper sticker collections tend to boringly reflect a theme, (Oh, so you love George W. Bush, you'd prefer that I Buy American and you have a decal of Calvin peeing on Osama Bin Laden? Hmm, that really makes me think), when I am Queen people will be required to have completely contradictory sets of statements on their cars, purely for my amusement. A few Royal Suggestions:
  • Bowlers Do It In The Alley & Yale University Alumni Association
  • I Can't Even Think Straight & I'm A Civil War Reenactor
  • My Child Is an Honor Student & We're A Home School Family
  • One Day at a Time & Pi Kappa Alpha

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The One In Which I Rip On The Space Program and Teri Hatcher (in that order)

Those guys at NASA's P.R. Department are good. Seriously. They have managed to get the media to cover every single insignificant moment of the current space mission. That dude on CNN this morning showing us what kind of pliers they use in space? Brilliant! Fascinating! Did anything blow up yet?

NASA understands that, especially with what happened last time, everyone's really chomping at the bit for something to go horribly, entertainingly wrong. You know, because we sincerely care about those astronauts and their families, not because we like explosions or anything. So now, they put out a press release every time someone space-sneezes, and we're really on edge. Bravo, NASA.

Okay, I know this may sound harsh, and I'm really not dismissing how sad it is when people are killed, but I feel like NASA's appealing to our baser instincts to stay relevant. After all, they realize this is no longer a nation of nuclear families who sit around their console televisions to watch the moon landing. We are are the Grand Theft Auto States of America, and we like instantly gratifying violence. But I think that until they can figure out how to put a crack whore on the moon, or find this dude's home planet, they're screwed.

In other news, Teri Hatcher is releasing a book, and yet I remain unpublished and less than famous. To add insult to injury, (and it is an injury to my sense of literary justice), it's an advice book, of all things. Who decided that just because someone's well-known and attractive that they can, A: write, and B: dispense advice? What sage wisdom does this woman have to offer, anyway? How to Make A Seemingly Endless Series of Grating Radio Shack Commercials? How to Have Your Limbs Airbrush-Whittled Down to Anorexic Proportions for a Vanity Fair Cover Photo? How to Fool Everyone Into Thinking You're Not an Egomaniac By Being Self-Deprecating in Your Golden Globes Acceptance Speech? But really, I'm not bitter about the book thing.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I don't know why he's holding a goat in the picture, either

Disclaimer: This is the first of what are sure to be many posts about Colin Farrell. I fully realize that if you are a girl with a shred of self-esteem, you probably find him disgusting. I, however, am not that girl. I adore Colin Farrell...well, I adore Colin Farrell the Movie Star. I fear that Colin Farrell the Actual Person would prove to be too smelly and loud for my taste. But as long as he stays distantly on the screen, tattooed, cursing and occasionally kissing Jared Leto, everything will be fine. Not that this little obsession hasn't caused me pain: I own a copy of The Recruit, for the love of God, but just let it be said that I accept -- nay, I celebrate -- every aspect of his drunken, oversexed Irishness. Actually, I think it's an integral part of his charm.

So, Colin Farrell made a sex tape with a Playboy Playmate. No part of that statement is surprising. In fact, it's actually kind of redundant. Here's the thing, though: Colin's suing to keep the tape from being made public. He claims he and the aforementioned Playmate, Nicole Narain, (why are they always named Nicole?), had an agreement to keep the tape under wraps. Now, either this is a fairly transparent p.r. move to make him look like he has some dignity left, or he's a damn idiot. I mean, she's a Playboy Playmate. She takes her clothes off for money. It's her job. She doesn't also work at Burger King, Colin, she's a professional naked person.

Now, personally, I don't get the whole sex tape thing, but much like other completely individual decisions Rick Santorum doesn't think you should make for yourself, I will support and defend your right to get freaky on film with enthusiasm and, if necessary, a letter-writing campaign to Congress.

I also believe that Celebrities are People Too, and that they have the right to take out the garbage and engage in carnal gymnastics on camera if they so choose without the prying eyes of the world looking in on them. But you've got to be realistic. People are going to want to see it. I mean, you made the thing because you wanted to see it, right? So stop whining, collect the proceeds and get on with your charmed life.

Well, I guess that's it. In case you were wondering, I have no desire to see this tape. I'm not that kind of girl. That's why Colin keeps coming back to me -- I keep him grounded.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Let's all go to the lobby and have ourselves some lust

Despite the fact that I abhor movie theaters and the not-shutting-off-cell-phone, candy-wrapper-crinkling, saying-stupid-obvious-shit-out-loud people who inhabit them, this weekend I went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, starring my boyfriend, Johnny Depp. Now, I had extremely high expectations for this movie, as it was

  • starring Johnny Depp in weird makeup (and, seriously, J-Depp could put on a costume and read the phone book and I'd be enthralled)
  • a remake of one of my favorite movies/version of one of my favorite childhood books
  • directed by the delightfully macabre Tim Burton
  • about gluttony

So, of course, since my expectations were so high, I inevitably wound up disappointed. Not that it wasn't a good, entertaining little romp through Michael Jackson's house, but still. I'm not so sure about the one little guy playing all the Oompa Loompas, either, and while the songs were nicely updated and somewhat funkified, nothing will ever top the doopity-doo of the originals. You can't go home again, people, you just can't. The kid who played Charlie, by the way, was perfection.


In other movie news, I rented Closer, and since I don't have Clive Owen's home address (yet), I'd like to just post the following message:

Dear Clive Owen,

Hi! You don't know me, but my name is Nina and I live in the United States, whereas you are fantastically British. I am building a room for you in my basement. You can live there rent-free and do yardwork. I just saw you in this movie called Closer. Remember when you made that movie? I know it came out a long time ago, but I just rented it. I'm sorry I didn't pay to see it in the theater, but I kind of hate people, so I stay in a lot. Anyway, in this movie, you play this hot, depressed, mysogynistic bastard who talks dirty. Suffice it to say, I was a bit drawn in. Are you like that in real life? Because I saw you on Conan once and you were really nice and low-key and, well, that's just not gonna work. But I'd rather just discuss it with you in person, so give me a call. You can get my number from Jude Law.